For a couple of hours Tuesday, the most famous new member of Congress used a small Bronx library as her office.

"For so long, people usually have to go out and find their member of Congress," New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said. "We decided, what happens if we flip the script and we go to where people are?"

The congresswoman's team has been working on finding and renovating two spaces that will soon become her official Bronx and Queens district offices. In the meantime, she's giving face time to her constituents from places like the library. For 45 minutes, she listened to some of their concerns before leading story time in front of a group of children.


She also sat down with NY1 to talk about, among other things, balancing out her huge national profile with her district work.

"I didn't choose all this attention. It kind of happened, so it certainly is something to manage. But community and grassroots and having a high-touch effort has always been my number one priority," she told me. "It's how I got here, it's how I won my race."

Before she became a national political star, Ocasio-Cortez worked for Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign. This Tuesday, the Vermont senator announced he is running again in 2020.

"In terms of endorsements, I am not endorsing early," Ocasio-Cortez said. "I just got sworn in myself a few weeks ago."

We asked her whether his candidacy is a good idea. "I think that it's a good idea. I think it's great idea that we have so many strong candidates, because we need to have conversations about the issues," she said.


Last week, she was one of the leading voices celebrating Amazon's decision to scrap its plans to build a second headquarters in Long Island City. From the beginning, she had being critical about the $3 billion in tax incentives New York was willing to give the tech giant.

We asked her what she says to those who think she's not well-versed in economics.

"I find it ironic, because sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who actually read this deal. Because all these people are saying, 'Oh, she doesn't know what she's talking about.' Did they read this deal? Did they read the fact that the city had on paper specific concessions to Amazon and there were very little penalties if Amazon didn't return the favor?" the congresswoman said.


Next week, New Yorkers will head to the polls once again, this time to elect a new Public Advocate.

Ocasio-Cortez said she's just sent her absentee ballot. She declined to tell us who her pick was.


Looking for an easy way to learn about the issues affecting New York City and what local politicians are doing to solve them?

Listen to our "Off Topic/On Politics" podcast: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | RSS